March 31, 2005
Reports reaching us from a number of activists in different locations around the country indicate that, contrary to the electoral ground rules set down by zanu-pf, presiding officers are now being instructed not to publish the results of poll immediately following the completion of the vote count at each polling station. Instead presiding officers are now under instructions to convey the results to the constituency centers and to await authorization from the Harare command center before releasing the results to the public.
Our informant in Binga reports that presiding officers in that constituency have been ordered to lock the polling stations at the close of polling and withdraw all means of communication from agents to ensure that nothing is communicated. This means that the results will not be published at the polling stations when the vote has been completed. The presiding officers are under instructions not to communicate any information about the poll until the consolidated result for the whole constituency has been verified and announced centrally. This is a major departure from the electoral procedures laid down by law.
So are the foreign election observers complaining? Hmm. Stay tuned.